93-year-old woman brightens days at Forbes Hospice

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PITTSBURGH —

A 93-year-old woman is bringing joy and beauty to residents and their loved ones at West Penn Hospital’s Forbes Hospice.

Alyce Johnston dedicates time each week to creating and delivering colorful flower arrangements to the hospice facility.

“She comes in three days a week. She delivers flowers. She delivers so much more than that -- a positive attitude, love, respect, dignity. Our patients love her,” said Keri Harmichar, Forbes Hospice volunteer coordinator.

Kelly Rauschart, who has a relative staying in the facility, said, “In a sad time, you look up from the room and you see Alyce coming down the hall and even in that moment you just smile.”

Johnston has been volunteering at West Penn Hospital for more than two decades.

“My days here are my joy,” she said.

The Pittsburgh City Council has taken notice of Johnston’s heartfelt work, proclaiming a day earlier in November as Alyce Johnston Day.

“I'm a volunteer because I want to love and hug you, and touch your cheek, and wipe your tears and just be kind,” said Johnston. “It was just a part of my intuition to care for patients.”

“Everyone loves Alyce here. Everyone,” said Rauschart.